tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 7, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EDT
>> crisis coming. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews down in washington. you know, there comes a time when you can see who the grownups are, those who have to drive the car. who the kids in the backseat are, those who get to squirm and complain and distract the driver. president obama knows the danger lying ahead. he's got to drive the car. he knows if we don't pass a debt ceiling increase, the united states government won't be able to pay its bills. he knows he needs that bill on his desk for action by august 2nd. that means congress has to act by july 22nd. if we don't do it, if we let it slide, let the games go on and do it the sloppy way, we will
find this country in fiscal hell. 9 responsible countries in the world will be watching the united states, unable to get its act together, and they will have mixed feelings. something in the world will have changed. the country they looked up to, for the first time they will start to look down on. so let me be nasty for those who deserve -- in the bible king solomon had to decide who was the true mother between the two women claiming a child as their own. he suggested cutting the baby in half. the woman who said that was okay with her exposed herself as the fraud. that's who the republicans are in this debate. so listen closedly and take names of those politicians say we don't have to meet this deadline, we can pay the interest or pull some other number, that we can cut the baby in half, in other words. so pay attention and write down those names. these are the false mothers, the bad actors, who don't really care this country loses something it's always had and now stands seriously to lose,
and may never really get back. let's best gin with senator sherrod brown. senator, there are people out there, i want to play you a couple tapes, people who say we're not facing a deadline. senator jim demint didn't seem worried on "morning joe" about going into default. let's listen. >> first of all we're not going to default. we may have to cut government programs, but we're going to pay our debt as they come due. we would eventually if we never raise the debt ceiling would have to go back to 2003 spending levels. we will pay our debts. it's irresponsible for secretary geithner to suggest we won't. it would be disruptive, i'm not pretending that it wouldn't. you would have to begin to cut things that we don't want to cut. >> is this serious talk? by him? >> of course it's not. to call geithner, who agrees with 90-whatever percent of business community, and
everybody else who's looking at this, to label him and them irresponsible is the height of both hypocrisy and irresponsibility. i'm pretty amazed by this. i was on the phone a couple hours with the ceo of one ohio's largest companies. he said he's circulating a letter with other ceos, he wasn't more specific than that, but sending it out i assume to mostly ohio republicans. there are a number who have drawn this line and don't seem to acknowledge this is as serious as it is. he said he's basically saying the ceo that it is almost a hostage situation, you start to mix metaphors, but you can't play chicken on this and not do damage to our reputation. it's a stain on our national honor, damage to the dplar, internationally and long term, and hurt hour economy in ways that we can't even yet very contingently measure. so this is serious business, and we're serious about this.
i wish there were -- i wish there were more on the other side as serious as this ceo is. >> to make it look as bad as possible, because i think it does look lake that, here is michele bachmann on "face the nation" saying the same thing jim demint was saying, let's not worry. here she is. >> first of all, it extent true that the government would default on its debt. very simply the treasury secretary can pay the interest on the debt first, and then from there we have to just prioritize our spending. the interest on the debt isn't any more than 10% of what we're taking in. in fact it's less than that, so the treasury secretary can very simply pay the interest on the dead first, then we're not in default. >> you know, i worked on the hill many years, you know, senator, and i respect what real politicians do for a living, which is try to find in the end the right solution for the country. it seems like the republican party has been taken over by people who have other interests.
ideological interests to the point they're quite willing to see not just the risk of catastrophe, but maybe they wouldn't mind watching a bit of it. then they'll say it's because the democrats overspend. are you confident they have a good faith in this, that they really believe this nonsense that it doesn't matter if the meet the united states bills. >> i'm not confident about the two people you just put on the air, but i am confident that john boehner can find enough republican members of the house to act like adults and do the right thing. you know, but think back 20, 30 years ago, you know, when you first -- well, however many years ago when you first -- >> it was a long time ago. >> could you imagine leaders of any party or presidential candidate signing pledges on abortion, signing pledges on taxes they would only work in this very narrow scope of ideological inflectionibility? of course not. that's not really government. when michele bachmann said set
priorities, she had prioritized i think is the term she said, maybe she's right. that would mean pay veterans benefits, but you don't pay guards at federal prisons? you pay social security but don't pay medicaid? i guess that's right you pay some bills, but not others, but this is the united states of america. we have obligations, we had a social compact on medicare, social security, paying our bills over time. we stand as a beacon to the world. if we play these games and play them much longer, it really will be a stain on our national honor, it will affect our long-term standing in the economic world if not the political world internationally. >> well, let's talk about america. you and i agree that this country is special in history, a blessed country because of so many things that an american can do that other people can't do. you can become an american when you come here. it's so hard to do that in other countries. we are now at the edge. i've got reading the papers, as you have about greece, and i
worry about ireland and other countries like portugal. the world press will be watching this drumbeat. are you concerned that the world press and world money markets will be saying, wait a minute, is the united states really going to do this? are they really going to suspend payments? tell us about that. this isn't just us deciding it here. it's how the world reacts to the united states faltering for the first time in its history in paying its bills. >> that's exactly right. this isn't the continuing resolution in terms of coming close to a government shutdown. some number of right-wing republicans that have no respect for the institution of government, don't believe it ever does anything positive, and it's pretty hard to explain that, but they don't. they really thought if the government shut down for a couple weeks, the public would see it doesn't matter. you can go right up to the edge on a government shutdown, this is damage, cost, but nothing long term terrible happening. you go right up to the edge on
the debt ceiling, and you have potential and nobody knows quite what its precisely in every case, but you have potential cataclysmic results. we have no business getting to that point. that's why the ceos are starting to weigh in, the business xhuchbt across the country is saying to republicans, you've got to be kidding, work out an arrangement, work out a deal. let's do this in a way that works for our country, not works for this very narrow gotcha political agenda. >> thank you very much for coming on at this time. ezra klein is also an msnbc analyst. >> you know, it's interesting, i was talking about the old days. i've never seen either political party play terrorist, the debt ceiling has always been sacrosaint. party leaders, people who recognize leadership and responsibility get the job done. here he is the, the debt ceiling was raised seven times during
the bush years starting in june 2002. raised every year except for 2005. in 2008 it was increased twice. ezra, the republican party today is not the republican party of even a couple years ago. it seems it's overrun by people who are abolitionists, willing to abolish government and willing to bring it down if they have to, and they don't give a darn, or damn about the consequences. >> it's definitely a different republican party. the thing that keeps coming to my mind is they really haven't thought it through. the federal government pays 80 million checks in a month. we go through the debt ceiling, and according to the bipartisan policy center, 45% of our obligations will not be able to be paid. who is it exactly who will make the decisions of which obligations they are. if it's the treasury department, you're looking at the republican, a small executive branch making the larger pow
transfer of power. it's a staggering change in the way we run or finances as a country. >> but the whole macroeconomic reality on this, help me, ezra, when the country puts out the world we're not paying our bills, and we're going to pick out a few people we're going to pay, that's bankruptcy. >> and it reverb rates throughout the entire economy. 80 million checks that go out. a lot of businesses that contract with the government. they begin hoarding money, laying off people in anticipation of not being able to cover their bills that month. you have seniors, folks who are low income, who rely on transfers to pay their rent, they begin hoarding money, reining in spending you have an economy in a deep downturn in which a large number of
businesses and larger number of individuals have suddenly stopped spending because they're terrified, and then that reverb rates out to coffee shops that serve people we are talking about the real economy if we blow through this limit. >> you're an expert, you know how the blogosphere works and how the left talks. i appreciate their position and agree with it a lot. here's my concern. if the president buckles, if he agrees to just spending cuts, the republican way, with no revenue increase, he will be chastised, maybe appropriately so, fully perhaps for giving in. if, however, he lets this country go into default, he will be attacked by everybody in the world for having blown it. does he have a third alternative? >> the third alternative is the consequences. what happened in '95, and eventually robert rubin said, listen, if we don't stop this
now, we are going to stop sending out associate security -- what i take the current checks. both parties are preparing for the aftermath were for the consequences, either from the market or from the people and the business that work with the dped ral government and i think obama administration is talking about closing them down. they are convincing one another that it is not that big after deal. so right now the white house's big hope and i don't think it is misplace said that if we go to do doom's days on this, the hope is people that get blamed will be the republicans. >> that's option 2. that's default. i've given you two options. >> it's not default if we don't stop sending out the checks. if we keep sending out the checks, it's not default. we didn't default in '95. we just got near to it. >> does the president then say, okay, i'll agree to the republican plan?
what's the third option besides default and defeat? how does he force his point of view, which is a reasonable balance, two or three to one, spending cuts to revenue hikes. >> i have no idea. i should say they're talking four or five to one. >> how do we get to there then? >> he can't. on his own we simply cannot. we live in a country, the constitution, the constitution has ultimate power. a lot of people think he could ignore them by asserting constitutional authority, but that is really dependent on the supreme court. >> am i right that it depends on one man, john boehner, speaker of the house, will have to deliver the votes he can, and nancy pelosi and steny hoyer will have to help him in the end? >> that's absolutely right. >> that's what i think, too. it will have to be the smartest and the grownups. anyway, thank you, ezra klein, for joining us and trying to get to the heart of this crisis coming.
coming up, religion are in search of a candidate. we're moving through july the year before. they're not thrill with romney, and he keeping flip flopping, by the way, on the key issues of the economy. they're waiting for someone like rick perry there on the right. he looks good to some of them. can he be the guy who unites on the far right? does anybody republican have the right stuff in they're still looking. you're watching "hardball." i att heartburn, third day this week. so i took my heartburn pill and some antacids. we're having mexican tonight, so another pill then? unless we eat later, then pill later? if i get a snack now, pill now? skip the snack, pill later... late dinner, pill now? aghh i've got heartburn in my head. [ male announcer ] stop the madness of treating frequent heartburn. it's simple with prilosec otc. one pill a day. twenty-four hours. zero heartburn. no heartburn in the first place. great. you can do this... get the ball. get the ball, girl. hmmm, you can't do that.
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welcome back to "hardball." does any republican candidate have the right stuff? that's a great question. i think newt is broke, paw listeny is invisible. romney can't seem to decide which romney he is today. likely republican voters in the primary, mitt romney does lead, followed by michele bachmann coming up, but only to 12. ron paul and rudy at 7%, rick perry, the new kid on the block at 4. pawlenty getting nowhere at 3%. i'm being nice tonight, david corn, i'm always nice to you, writing for mother jones. is this thing gelling the way it usually does?
do you know who the field is? >> of course you do. >> who has a good chance? >> i think romney hats a very good chance. pawlenty has a good chance. >> a good chance? >> sure. if pawlenty were the nominee, i think he could give obama a run for the money. >> who else? >> i think you'll laugh at this, but i think rick perry -- >> i'm not laughing. >> he's a hell of a politician. >> i'm crying on the inside. >> he's a hell of a politician. >> is he going to run for the texas republic of the united states? his latest comments lead me to believe he may not be part of the union. >> a lot of people, especially in the 202 and 212 area codes like to make fun of him. as someone who as worked on a campaign against perry, i can tell you he's formidable.
>> new york times quoting mr. perry has, broken political with mr. bush, questioning his cresse denchals, accusing hinge of being on a big government binge, and playing down some accomplishments in texas. perry's public statements exposed a long simmering rivalry. owe is he to the right of george w. bush? >> sure, i think so. you won't hear rick perry talk about a compassionate conservatism. i doubt you'll hear him talk about no child left behind and put a lot of emphasis on education. >> so he switched from a democrat all the way over to the right, he went right past the bushes. with the speed hi's taking he could end up all the way over. >> he overshot the moon. is he a credible presidential candidate? i'm just asking. >> absolutely. >> do you think the democrats would like to run against rick
perry. rather than romney or bachmann? >> i think he's more unpredictable, but then again could come across as a buffoonish swaggering texan, and if you look at the polls, americans still blame george w. bush for the economic hole we're in, so any candidate that reminds people of george w. bush comes with a tremendous liability, even if george w. bush doesn't like him. and to come up and say i'm not compassionate, i don't care about education, i want to be a hardliner on immigration, i have no real economic make roe plan here will not win well, though he does look good in cowboy boots. >> that won't be his message. >> let me say about it him, i don't get him. it doesn't ring authentic. on the one hand it seems very fancy, big city, he dresses well and looks good, but there's a hee-haw far right-winger. is isn't cohesive.
>> with the best job creation record of any governor in the country. >> let's have some fun. newt gingrich, a million in debt, an off-camera event this morning, david plouffe had this to say. calling romney a contortionist for distorting the president's handling. no the surprising the spokesperson hit back saying, quote, we understand the difficulty of working for a president who who is challenging herbert hoover's place as the job terminator's place in history. if he'd like -- mitt romney will debate president obama anytime. talk about swagger, david corn. >> mitt romney is trying to take his mind off the primary and go right ahead to the general. when obama -- >> that's smart. >> it is smart, if he can win. when obama travels, what does mitt romney do?
he gets the city before, and does it before and after obama leaves. he's trying to direct file, but saying a lot of things about obama's economic report that is not true and had to moderate them and turn them on and off. >> calling him herbert hoover, do you think that's fair? >> well, sure. bush lost the jobs, not barack obama. >> look. barack obama favorable numbers in terms of performance. in the economy, he is under water on this. i am struck by the level of naivete and arrogance on the left by people who scoff that barack obama could even be remotely vulnerable somehow. >> but herbert hoover is harsh words. >> yeah. >> todd, you're creating a straw man. >> no, no. >> anytime you have unemployment at 9%, 10%, whoever the incumbent is, is going to be in trouble. there's nobody who denies that.
>> 25% under hoover, let's get that straight. >> but when mitt romney says the economy is worse under barack obama than at the end of the bush years, that's simply not true. now, you can make the case that maybe barack obama should have created more jobs and done better, but what mitt romney's -- how he's describing it is just inaccurate. >> if the obama wants the message to be the economy is not as bad as you think it is, that's probably not going to -- >> is romney the front-runner? >> oh, sure. >> is he beatable? >> sure. >> can he be beating on the left? >> in the republican primary? >> huntsman? >> i think that would be tough to do. >> you think huntsman can beat him on the left? >> i think hadn'tman has to get 5% in new hampshire first. >> can he be beaten by -- is he too left for your party, romney? >> no. no. he's winning? the polls.
>> michele bachmann, can she knock him off in new hampshire? >> i think that would be tough in new mexico. >> if he wins 234 iowa -- >> she could be formidable. >> who's the favorite in iowa? >> right now it's bachmann. >> without admitting it arithmetically -- she can beat him in iowa or new hampshire. >> she's going to beat him? >> probably. >> what you're saying is the party in iowa is to the right of romney. >> well, yes. >> 100,000 people show up to ultimate caucus, yes. >> so you're disdaining iowa? >> i love iowa. i love iowa. >> looks to me the party is open to the right, to the left wp swing together right of romney. if he has any dangers, he's already an election candy, but he still has to sweat it out. >> if you look at the history of flip-flops. it's hard for primary voters to know where he really stands.
with michele bachmann and rick perry, you don't have to guess. so the tea party republicans, who want a tea party republican candidates will have a choice. romney has a hard time appealing. >> a couple days ago he wasn't sure whether he made the economy worse than he -- he got it when he was handed it, and now he's herbert hoover? excuse me. herbert hoover created the great depression on his watch. owe didn't just inherit it from somebody else. this guy, obama, the worst thing you can say is he i inherited and hasn't been able to fix it. >> it's not worse than when he got it, todd. >> just keep throwing language around like hoover. up next, the former klan leader, he's back. i don't know how many facelifts he's had. he's running for the white house again. he got about 1% last time.
he's running, by the way, in many republican party, i believe. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. sam higgins? you have frequent heartburn, right? yeah. well we're the two active ingredients in zegerid otc. i'm omeprazole. and i'm sodium bicarbonate. just one pill a day ... gives you 24-hour relief. & one mission. two ingredients heartburn solved.
back to "hardball." first up, david duke. well, back in the mix now, apparently. he was the white supremacist who ran for the governor of virginia -of louisiana years ago. he's now larging a tour of 25 states for a potential possible presidential bid. his first or last bid in 1992 earned him approximately 1% of the republican primary vote nationwide. i'm sure the republicans are glad to see him come. next up, where is the loyalty? a one-time chief of staff to jon huntsman has passed over his former boss and endorsed mitt romney. his reasoning -- he's uniquely
positioned to beat barack obama. he broke the news it was a little awkward. speaking of awkward, it was just personal. apparently in new jersey last week governor chris christie used his line-item veto to strike funding for certainly health and social programs. the reaction from steve sweeney -- i wanted to punch him in his head. you know who he reminds me you have? mr. potter from "it's a wonderful life." that's what senator convenery called him. they're a longtime bipartisan allies. they put out a statement yesterday while saying wheel sweeney's comments were disrespectful, christie stands ready to work with him going forward. the number of women in congress dropped for the first time in 30 years. whatever reason, the new york rising star, senator kirsten jill brand wants to reverse that
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lawyers defending strauss-kahn are demanding that the manhattan district attorney remief himself from the case and let a special prosecutors take over. they accuse the d.a. of leaking damaging information about strauss-kahn's accuser. a visitor was mauled to death by a grizzly bear with, the first's first death in or two man two decades snb they
will seek a death penalty, charginging him with 19 counts of murder in the shooting rampage. caring into the deep into the united states and vice versa under a trade deal that took 17 years to carry out. as we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this earth is orbiting overhead. if we could blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the white house. although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks
to you it's got about 18 million cracks in it. >> well, that was quite a moment. that was senator hillary clinton, of course, conceding the presidential primary fight with barack obama back in '08, but the number of women in politics is stagnating, even dropping constituently, with the percentage of women in the united states congress dipping, al be it very slightly, for the first time in more than 30 years. at the state level, you see a real drop. the number of women in elected positions like governor, lieutenant governor and the cabinet post has decline steadily over the past decade. after rising for 30 years. senator kirsten jill i brand wants to think about it, as does democratic congresswoman kathy hochul who watched that special election in new york city. well, both of you are pathfinders in different way, so i want to start with the senator. it seems -- it's very hard to figure this thing out.
it seems like there was a projection there, a projectile moving in one direction and you're saying it's leveled off and you want to do something about it? >> absolutely, chris. what i want to do is get more women off the sidelines, to get them engaged, so they're voting more, running for office more. the reality is decisions are being made every day about issues they fundamentally care about. these are issues where if their voices were heard, i think the decisions that would be reached would be better decisions. >> do you think when you ran for office you'll run again and again, and i think you have a great future. everybody knows that, senator. do you think there's a glass ceiling at the senate or gubernatorial level. is there any advantage of running for governor of new york, for example? not against andrew, who is doing so great, but in general terms, is there still a glass ceiling? the reality is not enough women are running for office. what you mentioned, this decline, the first time in 30 years that the percentage went
down is a terrible statistic. and so i think we need a call to action for women to engage, and to run and be part of these die bates. and for one of the most important reasons is the economy. you know, women are graduating from college and from advanced degrees more than 50% more than men. so the reality is if we're going to out-innovate, out-compete and create this economic growth, women will be a part of that. i want women to be part of this debate. we still don't have equal pay in this country. issues of affordable child care are highly relevant. we want women as part of this debate. that's how we'll create a growing economy. >> just to put the edge in your argument for the people watching, here are tomorrow's participants. you'll notice seven men and one woman. congresswoman there's never been a stronger speaker since sam rayburn than the speaker just recently, nancy pelosi. so you have one strong leader in
the congress. what's going on in terms of those meetings when you only have one woman in the room? >> a woman's vote is important. that highlights the problem, having 17% women in congress is frankly not enough. when women are part of the debate, the difference in the discussions, in the negotiations, women often are better consensus builders, they often are able to bring different arguments to the table and able to reach resolutions sometimes more easily. >> you mean congresswoman bachmann is a consensus builder? >> not all women. but many women. >> just kidding. let me go to congresswoman hochul. you have nancy pelosi, but amart from her, that's the only female voice really in that big room tomorrow at the white house. >> i have a problem with that as well, chris. i'm joining with the senator to do what we can to get women on the farm team. we came off a big softball game, so we're thinking sports analogies, but we need more women willing to step up.
i came from a town board and went to county clerk and rose up, so there's many paths to congress, but the bottom line is we have to make it easier, let women know their voices will be heard. i feel very respected, people are listening to me as i speak on the floor and make my points, but there's too few women who want to step up. part of it, it is a brutal process. you look at the electric i just came to, you have to have tough skin to put up with this, but the end game is so important. we're here to support you, step up to the plate and you'll have the resources to need. >> does at the bother you or concern you, senator, once hillary clinton has retired, she talked about retiring at the end of next year, that will be the only woman in the top four cabinet positions historically. we might have no women in the top positions in this administration if it gets to the second term. does that concern you? >> you know, our president is
very committed to women. i can tell you, the first bill he signed was the lily ledbert fair pay act to give women more resources and information. he's been a champion on issues nominating two women to the supreme court as his two nominees is unbelievably important, so i think we have a lot of talent in the cabinet who are women, which is fantastic, but we need more women. that's the whole point of this. women have to be interested in being part of the governing body. we still only have a handful of women governors, we only have a handful of women on corporate boards. when women are part of the decision-making, the decisions are often better. one example i like to use is when speaker pelosi became a speaker, she put five women on the armed services commit aye. it changed the nature of debate. i remember talking about military readiness and gabby giffords was on that committee, she said i have a doctor on my
base who tells me 70% of men and women going back into combat are not ready to go back in, because they haven't had the dwell time. while our male colleagues are talking about how many aircraft we're going to buy and equipment, sometimes the women bring in a different perspective. when you have both talking about military readyness in terms of how the personnel are doing and faring, but also the equipment, that is a far more complete picture of what it takes to have a strong armed services. >> this is the beginning of the conference, not the end. thank you both. up next, when president obama took on the twitter-verse today -- that's a new phrase -- was it really the democrat's first step in trying to own social media? they better own it. this is "hardball" only on msnbc.
president obama has reversed a long-standing military policy. he's announced he will begin sending condolence letters to the families of members who committed suicide. they didn't do so because they were weak, but didn't get the help he needed. he's changedle policy. boy, this is a sad story. we'll be right back.
here's one -- will you take job-destroying tax hikes off the table? the speaker even retweeted another one from the afl-cio, where are the jobs? here's another one. after embarking on a adviser spending binge that's left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs? that tweet got a response from the president at the town hall. let's listen. >> this is a slightly skewed question, but what he's right about is that we have not seen fast enough job growth relative to the need. i mean, we lost, as i said, 4 million jobs before i took office, before i was sworn in. about 4 million jobs were lost in the few months right after i took office before our economic policies had a chance to take any effect. we haven't gotten the cooperation i would like to see
on some of those ideas and initiatives, but i'm going to keep on trying and eventually i'm sure the speaker will see the light. okay, jonathan martin, top reporter in this city, and alex wagner, both of you, let me start with alex, because she's here. this twitter-natn thing and the president at least receives tweets, you know, a couple years ago this would be considered bizarre, but tell me why he has to do it. when his staff went to him and said you should do this, what do you think they said? >> this is a huge push towards the youth vote. this is something that the president has long held close to his heart. he did "the daily show with jon stewart" bakley he has mark zuckerberg on call. twitter is another reiteration, and obama knows that the youth live there. for 2012, the youth were a critical vote in the last election. >> the 2008 election. they were not so helpful last
twitter, and e-mail. that's how they communicate now, and now how they get news but get information from friends and relatives and everything else. he's going to voters to where they live. this is new in that sense and also old in a very important way. every president has tried to go around the filter, as president bush liked to call it, go around the filter of the mainstream media. bill clinton did it by going on hall and king, george w. bush did it by talking to regional reporters oftentimes, new president obama is doing it himself by going to facebook, by doing a twitter town hall. this is a way of avoiding, you know, the traditional east room press conference talking to the press corp. >> so he doesn't have to fight his way to the public or defend himself, he just broadcasts. here's my question, i love the metaphor, i go to the end of my driveway in the morning, lucky to have a driveway, pick up four or five newspapers in the
morning, go through them and read them. your age, let's get generational. how do you receive the president's tweets, say you're a lefty or independent, how do you -- how does the president reach you, how does that work? >> part of the problem and part of the criticism against the president today was there wasn't enough between the twitter-verse and the president. i think you -- >> how does he do it? >> a couple of things going on, chris, the medium is one thing, but the message is another. >> by the way, the message sounded as old as this argument about jobs and stuff is about what everybody argues about. >> to a certain degree, the reason that obama had the youth vote in his corner in 2008 was because he represented so much hope and it was a kind of unvarnished belief in the future. four years later, it's been a messy legislative four years.
>> you say content matters? >> yes, look, the youth unemployment rate is double the nation. there's a lot of disenfranchisement of the youth population. >> going back to john -- three years ago we had a president that wasn't very academic or inspiring to young people, went to college, certainly we had a war that was young and tired. those issues are not helpful to them. we have an iraq war, which is still there, an afghanistan war that has been beefed up, what's good tweeter, twitter, tweeting. >> not just that, chris, but a lot of the appeal about president obama in 2008 was he was new and fresh and gave a chance to americans to write history. that happened. how do you make history twice, the answer is you don't. he has to find a way to fire up the base once again. ultimately, his message if the
economy doesn't improve is the other guys will make it worse. look at their policies and views. >> john, you're key. i want to end it with that note. it's brilliant. it's about the next four years, it's not the blame game. who do you have confidence in to lead the country out of the situation we are now. thank you so much jonathan and alex wagner for tutoring me rather crudely. let me finish with -- we're going to have a birthday tribute to nancy reagan for the reasons she was a moderating force on that man next to her. you're watching "hardball."
let me finish with a birthday tribute to an american who made a difference. her name is nancy reagan. she was our country's first lady during the 1980s and supported one of the american presidents in our country's history. what i have to say is not what conservatives would say, but it is important. he saw the opportunity to end the cold war and took it. he had the sound human judgment to know it would come across someone different in moscow. open up that system and let the chips fall where they may, end the crazed competition weaponry which put both countries at each other, poised to shoot at each other. ronald reagan saw the mutual
destruction and took the historic steps to call it off. it might not have happened if two lesser people had not been there, people who didn't see something higher involved here than literally sticking to their guns. nancy reagan, i am convinced played a huge role in all of this. this decision to make the decision, this readiness to change it and make the deal that ended the longest and scariest war in our history, the cold war. since she's lost her husband, she's been as good in playing the positive role working for stem cell research and government support for it. she's taken some heat, but she's kept on coming. i don't know all that went on between the reagans when he was president, but instincts and experience say it was nancy reagan who kept him from harsh directional and social issues, who accepted views. i believe that, and on this issue, i'm the one sticking to